Application Instructions—Imagining Canada’s Future Ideas Lab
Stage 1: Expression of Interest
Note: For the purposes of these instructions, the terms “applicant” and “project director” are used to refer to individual applicants and the person acting on behalf of an institutional applicant.
Documents to read before applying
Write your proposal in clear, plain language. Use non-technical terms that can be understood by a range of audiences with varied areas of expertise.
SSHRC advocates for the practices listed below when applicable in your application. In addition, costs related to these activities are eligible:
- responsible research data management strategies;
- open access publishing activities;
- dissemination in both official languages;
- promotion and support of official language minority communities; and
- effective research training.
If you experience technical difficulties, contact the helpdesk as early as possible in the application process. The helpdesk has a higher volume of requests during peak periods (i.e., September 1 to December 1) and on deadline days.
See the Imagining Canada’s Future (ICF) Ideas Lab workshop description to confirm you are eligible to apply to this opportunity.
Creating an account and application on the Convergence Portal
Creating an account
If you are a new user, you need to create a Convergence Portal account:
- navigate to the Convergence Portal;
- select your preferred language;
- on the log-in page, select “Create my portal account;”
- follow the instructions on the site and in your confirmation email to finish creating your account.
Creating an application
- Once you have created your account, click the home icon. Select the “Funding Opportunities” tab.
- Find “Imagining Canada’s Future Ideas Lab—Expression of Interest.” Click “Create Application.”
- Answer the Participant Eligibility questions, and verify that the information prepopulated from your account profile is correct. Once you have answered all questions, click “Create Application.”
- Select your language of application, then attach your supporting documents. Verify your documents to ensure they have been uploaded correctly and their content is viewable.
- Once you have completed your application, click “Submit to Research Administrator.” Read and accept the Terms and Conditions of the application.
If you leave the Portal before completing and submitting your application, you can find your draft application listed under the “Applications” tab when you log back in.
If you need help completing online application forms due to circumstances arising from a disability , contact your institution (scholarship liaison officer, research grant office or other applicant support office) as early in the application process as possible to investigate available supports. If your institution cannot provide help, or needs SSHRC to collaborate on a solution, contact SSHRC accommodations. You can also contact SSHRC if you have questions or are seeking specific adaptation arrangements. You do not need to share your medical or sensitive personal information, and, to protect your privacy, should avoid doing so.
Frequently requested accommodations include, but are not limited to:
- one-on-one phone or video appointments to clarify funding program information or the application process, or receive technical support;
- alternative formats of online materials to enable access using assistive technology;
- submission of the application (in full or part) through alternate means or format (e.g., hard copy, voice recording, or data entry by SSHRC staff on the applicant’s behalf).
Applicant or project director responsibilities
By clicking “Submit to Research Administrator” and accepting the Terms and Conditions, the applicant or project director certifies that all information is accurate.
They are also responsible for:
- completing all mandatory fields;
- attaching mandatory supporting documents;
- clicking “Submit to Research Administrator” for approval by your institution’s or organization’s internal deadline. The electronic submission process ensures validation of the information by an institution’s or organization’s administrator before they forward your application to SSHRC on your behalf (the application's status will change from “In progress” to “Received by administrator”). You must accept the Terms and Conditions to submit.
Research or financial administrator responsibilities
By clicking “Forward Selected to Agency,” the research administrator or designated financial administrator for not-for-profit organizations (institutional approval) certifies that:
- the applicant or project director:
- is affiliated with the institution or organization; and
- has the necessary time and facilities to carry out the activity; and
- the postsecondary institution, or the not-for-profit organization:
- is willing to administer any grant received following SSHRC policies;
- agrees to take the necessary steps to ensure that machine-readable files or computer databases are preserved and accessible under conditions agreed to by the institution and the researcher;
- will release funds to the successful candidate once all necessary certification requirements and conditions have been met;
- will notify SSHRC of any change in the grant holder’s status during the tenure of the grant;
- will notify SSHRC of any changes during the tenure of the grant, such as the addition of new co-applicants and/or collaborators; and
- has verified that the budgetary estimates are in accordance with its rates and policies.
Electronic submission process and acknowledgement of receipt of applications
Applicants must allow enough time for their institution’s or organization’s internal approval process, as specified by the relevant authorities.
Applications will remain available for download, via the Convergence system, for a period following the application deadline.
Attaching a document
Many modules in your application will require you to attach a PDF file. You must follow the below specified requirements for margins and font size, or your application will be deemed ineligible. An error message will appear if the file you are trying to attach does not meet the required specifications for page length and file size.
Prepare all attachments as follows:
- Explain all acronyms and abbreviations used.
- Size all pages to 8 ½” x 11” (216 mm x 279 mm).
- Single-space all text.
- Put all text in 11 pt, Arial, black font (condensed fonts will not be accepted).
- Set margins at a minimum of ¾” (1.87cm).
- Number pages sequentially.
- Include the application ID number at the top of each page.
- Do not include any identifying information in headers and/or footers (e.g., name, PIN, institutions, etc.).
- Include the document name at the start of each document (e.g., “CV Extension Justification”).
Note: You must preview all attachments you upload to ensure they have been uploaded correctly and the content is viewable. Corrupted or protected files that cannot be opened or viewed will not be accepted.
Letter of Interest (no longer than 2,000 words)
- Heading: Name, title, affiliations and areas of expertise of the applicant;
- Research and interdisciplinarity: Explanation of how the applicant’s research interests and experience will allow them to contribute to the topic of this ICF Ideas Lab, including references to multi-or interdisciplinary projects or activities (committee work, joint teaching initiatives, etc.);
- Collaborations and partnerships: Description of the applicant’s experience with:
- research collaborations;
- the co-creation, co-design and co-production of research;
- partnerships and collaborations within the academic community (committee work, joint teaching initiatives, etc.);
- partnerships and collaborations with industry and community stakeholders;
- Knowledge mobilization and communication: Evidence of the applicant’s ability to communicate with nonspecialists, and of experience with knowledge mobilization activities and the co-creation of research (public talks, social media, policy briefs, SSHRC’s Storytellers competition, etc.);
- Innovation and creativity: Explanation of how the applicant has produced highly original and forward-thinking research or research-creation, and demonstrated creativity in research and other professional activities (teaching, curriculum development, start-ups, etc.);
- Overall potential to contribute to the ICF Ideas Lab: Statement outlining the applicant’s objectives in wishing to participate in the ICF Ideas Lab workshop, and an explanation of how participation would impact their career.
Curriculum vitae (no longer than 10 pages)
The CV should highlight experiences and outputs that demonstrate innovation, interdisciplinarity, ability to collaborate and/or interest in the workshop topic. Applicants should review the Evaluation Criteria and Scoring section of the ICF Ideas Lab description when preparing their CVs.
Include the following sections:
- Academic background: Beginning with your highest degree, list all relevant degrees.
- Credentials: List awards, distinctions, licences and professional designations you have received and think would be the most pertinent to the adjudication of your application.
- Work experience: Beginning with your current role, list professional roles. Work experience can include both academic roles as well as roles in other sectors.
- Funded research: In reverse chronological order, list grants or contracts you have received from SSHRC or other sources.
- Relevant research contributions over the last six years: Outline your research contributions within six years of the application deadline date. In the case of those candidates claiming career interruptions (see h. below), you may include publications drawn from your most recent periods of research activity to an overall total of six years.
Provide details, as appropriate, about the contributions you listed, as follows:
- Specify your role in co-authored publications.
- For published contributions, provide complete bibliographic notices (including co-authors, title, publisher, journal, volume, date of publication and number of pages) as they appear in the original publication.
- For publications in languages other than French or English, provide a translation of the title and the name of the publication.
- For recent graduates, list theses.
Group your contributions by category in the following order, as applicable, listing your most recent contributions first.
- Refereed contributions: Examples include books (where applicable, subdivide according to those that are single-authored, co-authored and edited works), monographs, book chapters, articles in scholarly refereed journals and conference proceedings.
- Be aware that a “refereed work” involves its assessment: in its entirety—not merely an abstract or extract; before publication; and by independent (at arm’s length from the author), anonymous, qualified experts.
- Other refereed contributions: Examples include papers presented at scholarly meetings or conferences and articles in professional or trade journals.
- Non-refereed contributions: Examples include book reviews, published reviews of work, research reports, policy papers and public lectures.
- Forthcoming contributions: Indicate one of the following statuses: “Submitted,” “Revised and submitted,” “Accepted” or “In press.” Provide the name of the journal or book publisher and the number of pages. Contributions not yet submitted should not be listed.
- Creative outputs: Examples of creative outputs may include exhibitions, performances, publications, presentations, and film, video and audio recordings. List your most recent and significant achievements grouped by category. Creative outputs will be evaluated according to established disciplinary standards and creative and/or artistic merit. If applicable, you may include a website link. SSHRC cannot guarantee that links will be accessed.
- Other research contributions: Describe any other contributions to research and the advancement of knowledge within the last six years, including your research contributions to non-academic audiences (e.g., public, policy-makers, private sector and not-for-profit organizations).
- Most significant career research contributions: List and rank up to five of your most significant contributions over your entire career. The six-year rule does not apply to this section. Therefore, contributions listed here may differ from those listed in other sections of your CV. Ensure that you explain briefly the significance of the contributions listed.
Career interruptions and special circumstances:
- Career interruptions occur when researchers are taken away from their research work for an extended period of time for health, administrative, family or other reasons, or reasons related to the COVID-19 pandemic. In these cases, as explained in the Relevant research contributions over the last six years section, explain the interruption(s) and ask that an overall total of six years of research activity be considered by the adjudicating committee.
- Special circumstances involve slowdowns in research productivity created by health (and/or disability-related), administrative, family, cultural or community responsibilities, socio-economic context, COVID-19 or other reasons (i.e., the researcher was not completely taken away from research work). Applicants from small institutions may indicate their teaching load in this section if the change in workload impacted their research output.
- Indigenous applicants can use the “Special Circumstances” section of their application form to describe special circumstances that may have had an impact on their academic or career paths.
- SSHRC asks its adjudication committees to consider career interruptions and special circumstances that may have affected candidates’ record of research achievements. In doing so, adjudication committee members will be able to more accurately estimate the productivity of each researcher, independent of any career interruptions or special circumstances in the last six years.
- All information provided to SSHRC is subject to the Privacy Act. Applicants are reminded that the information included in this section of their application will be shared with both external assessors and adjudication committee members for consideration as part of their application. For more information, see merit review. All SSHRC merit reviewers are subject to the Tri-Agency Conflict of Interest and Confidentiality Policy, and are prohibited from sharing this information outside of the merit review process.
Contributions to training: Provide the following information on students you have helped train within the last six years:
- Indicate your role in supervising or co-supervising ongoing and/or completed theses, listing these by the student’s level of studies.
- Describe efforts you have made to involve students (e.g., doctoral, master’s or undergraduate) and/or postdoctoral researchers in your research activities.
- Specify if opportunities for such contributions have been limited because your postsecondary institution does not have graduate degree programs in your field or discipline.
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